My question involves estate proceedings in the state of: Pennsylvania
Hi, I'm in the process of trying to take this situation by the horns after 14,000.00 in attorneys fees have not. My mother resides in PA an I am in CA trying to pick up the pieces of the case in order to figure out what to do next if anything.
I have quite a bit of general information regarding what is going on and what needs to be accomplished but I do not yet have all documents involved so please bear with me.
In a nut shell my mothers "Good friend and companion" she resided with for almost 20 years past away in 2004. In his Will he made a bequest for 50,000.00 for her to receive directly and 100,000.00 to be deposited into a Trust that was to be managed by his surviving son. The "principle" of the trust was to be used for the expenses of her to remain living in the home that they shared before his death. Expenses meaning everything related to the house; property taxes, insurance, maintenance, upkeep, utilities pretty much everything except food. Upon her death the son receives the home.
The opposing side has always contented that the Estates assets were not sufficient to fund the 100,000.00 and upon reading the probate documents (just today) this is correct. However with no debt to speak of at the time of his death his net worth was approaching 2 million dollars, the money was there, the question is WHY was 100,000.00 of it not designated for the Trust? Or was it??
His 401K listed the son as the beneficiary. The son was also given or received the remainder of the assets that were to come from his previous employer (he was retired at the time of his death) which were in the neighborhood of 1.5 million dollars.
The attorney who drew up the Will and Trust and was executor produced and e-mail (that I have not yet seen) as the sole form of evidence that the son was listed as the beneficiary with the decedents former employer. Based on this e-mail document he allowed? dispensed? (not sure how this took place) the monies to the son. To my knowledge copies of the actual documents which bore his signature held with the company to verify this to be true were never sourced.
This is where I get confused because of my ignorance of procedures in these matters. Here come the question finally;
1. If the son was listed as the beneficiary why would the Executor of the will need to "dispense" or "ok" or "allow" the son to collect the monies. Wouldn't they have simply came straight from the employers fund management company via a claim form?
2. Is it possible to obtain copies of the original documents with his former employer to verify the son was the only beneficiary of those assets.?
3. If so being that the Fund company is NOT in PA would this pose additional hurdles?
I think that is it for now. I have to add, if the fact of the matter is he simply "forgot" or "overlooked" funding the trust that is the end of it. But given the living trust was created well before his death and given the thoroughness of the will on all other matters the likely hood that he would have "forgotten" to set aside assets sufficient to fund the 100,000.00 trusts is a stretch.
I apologize for the length
Thank you for any help